The best Chinese 125cc motorcycles

Kymco Agility City+ 125 on busy UK road
Image source: Kymco

Smaller 125cc motorbikes are popular with young and experienced riders alike. Offering high speed and agility, these bikes can be ideal for both city life and taking off-road. 

For anyone looking to get a foothold in the wonderful world of motorcycles, a cheaper Chinese bike, with equally affordable parts, can be extremely tempting. We’ve already provided a list of the best 125cc bikes, but as the Chinese motorcycle market continues to grow, we’ve decided to take a look at the best bikes on offer from the region.

When they first began appearing, Chinese motorcycle brands developed a bad reputation – which was not entirely undeserved. Cheap materials and components resulted in many machines that looked decent but didn’t last.

However, Chinese manufacturers have made rapid progress in improving quality. There are now plenty of brands creating reasonably priced machines that benefit from competitive insurance costs thanks to specialist insurance for Chinese motorcycles.

It can be difficult to find accurate information about these Chinese bikes, with online forums often immediately ruling them out as bad products. Dig a bit further and you may find outdated information or unreliable, second-hand knowledge. We recommend having a look at 125cc owners’ groups on Facebook for the most reliable information. So without further ado, here are our favourites.

1. Lexmoto ZSB

Lexmoto ZSB on white background
Image source: Lexmoto

The Lexmoto ZSB has a traditional, stripped back design paired with a smooth four-stroke engine, easy-to-use controls, luggage rack and comfortable seat. It features combined braking, 15-litre fuel tank and telescopic front forks. More impressively, like most of Lexmoto’s 125 offerings, you’ll get change from two grand. 

2. Lexmoto Assault

The Assault boasts a four-stroke overhead cam engine, sturdy telescopic forks, comfortable seat and combined braking and quality hydraulic discs, delivering a great ride whatever the conditions and whatever the surface. Great value for money at under £2,000 when on sale.

3. Lexmoto Isca

The Isca has been updated to meet Euro 5 emission regulations and completes the Lexmoto trinity of 125s costing less than £2,000 when on sale (normal price is £2209.99). The Isca offers a larger fuel tank at 16 litres and uses a centralised counterbalance shaft to reduce engine vibrations, guaranteeing you a smooth ride.

4. Lexmoto LS-N

If you’re ready to make a bigger investment, the LS-N comes in at £3,499.99. It offers a 15.5 litre fuel tank, 10.6Nm of torque and a classic steel trellis frame. It is definitely one for the naked bike lovers. Impressively proportioned, the LS-N feels much more substantial than its 124cc capacity first suggests. 

5. Zontes ZT125-U

First arriving in the UK in 2010, Zontes’ bikes quickly garnered a passionate fan base. Zontes offers a range of 125cc bikes, with the cheapest coming in at £2,049. But if you’re looking for a Zontes bike, we would suggest the ZT125-U, which is praised for its quality and value (costing £3,249), as well as its engine and reliability. Designed for new and experienced riders alike, the U claims to be the ‘ultimate naked street bike’.

6. Zontes ZT125-G1

The G1 is a street scrambler packed with modern tech on a frame, designed for classic motorcycle fans. It offers 13Nm of torque, a 10AH battery for tech use and eco and sport modes to customise the ride for your needs. It will set you back £3,199 on sale (typical price £3,499).

7. Zontes ZT125-U1

At the same price as the previous model, the Zontes U1 was built for adventure and features user-friendly controls to keep you safe and in charge while racing around. The smaller fuel tank of 12.5 litres (compared to the G1’s 20 litres) makes it nimble enough for hard terrain. All three Zontes motorbikes meet Euro-5 standards.

8. Sinnis GPX

Sinnis GPX on white background
Image source: Sinnis

Sinnis uses technology licensed from Yamaha and Suzuki. The bikes can be pricier than those offered by other Chinese brands, but they’re still great value – especially when you compare the recreations of classic bikes to the cost of buying and maintaining an original. The GPX is a supermoto for newbies. With max torque of 10.67Nm and a liquid cooled engine that can handle full throttle (as well as city speeds), prices start at £3,699. 

9. Sinnis Akuma

For those with a smaller budget, the Akuma offers 8.5Nm of torque and has a price tag of £2,599. Coming in two colourways, the Akuma is agile, stylish and easy to handle.

10. Sinnis Outlaw

If you enjoy a retro style, Sinnis has the Outlaw priced at £2,999. It offers a classic frame with modern features, 9Nm of torque, and a five-speed gearbox paired with a four stroke-engine. 

11. Sinnis Hoodlum

For £300 less, you could go for the Hoodlum, a 125 with classic contours and timeless design. The Hoodlum has a single-cylinder, four-stroke engine with a signature Long Stroke and Electronic Fuel Injection system providing smooth controllable power with plenty of bottom-end torque.

12. Keeway K-Light

Keeway K-Light 125cc parked
Image source: Keeway

Keeway’s K-Light 125 has the style of the ‘50s and ‘60s combined with today’s meticulously engineered performance and precision, making it easy on the eye and a dream to ride. Its relaxed ergonomics, smooth and torquey engine, and advanced suspension put you in complete command for £2,799.

13. Keeway Superlight LTD

Keeway also offers the Superlight LTD as a cruiser option. It offers  8.9NM of torque, a five-speed gearbox and is Euro-5 compliant. The LTD had a 15-litre engine and is clearly designed for the open road. It will set you back £2,649.

14. Keeway Superlight SE

Second verse, same as the first: the Superlight SE is very similar to the LTD but costs another hundred quid courtesy of its sleek gloss black paint-job compared to the LTD’s matt black, grey and red options.

15. Lifan Camel

Liffan C-Man 3 125cc on white background
Image source: Lifan

The Camel is a street bike with a max speed of 93kmph, five-speed gearbox and two seats, making it perfect for couples or friends who want to ride together, while the C-MAN3 is a cruiser that offers high speeds of 95kmph.

16. Lifan C-MAN3

A cool cruise which claims a top speed of 95km and hour, the C-MAN3 is quick out of the blocks too with an impressive 9.2Nm torque. A good looking machine which is manouverable and comfortable to ride about town or on the long haul.

17. Lifan LF125-12G

Offering top speeds of around 100kmph the LF125-12G is the top of the range of Lifan’s 125 offering. Another retro looking machine that’s is as comfortable to ride as it is easy on the eye. 

18. Bluroc Hero 125 (previously known as the Bullit Hero 125)

The Hero 125 is a versatile bike that offers dominance on the road. The bike is light, weighing only 121kg, and can reach 9Nm of torque. These elements combined means the Bluroc Hero 125’s top speed is 97kmph. We think it’s one of the best Chinese motorcycles for Bluroc’s affordable prices.

You can find more of our top picks in our guide to the best Bluroc motorcycles.

19. Kymco Agility City

Kymco Agility City+ 125 on city roads
Image source: Kymco

The Kymco Agility City+ 125 is a new addition to the brand’s catalogue that is both practical and agile. The bike has a maximum power of 8.8hp at 8,500rpm and a maximum torque of 9Nm at 6,750rpm for a top speed of 52mph.

Need motorbike insurance?

No matter which bike you choose, you will need insurance before you can ride it anywhere. Bikesure offers specialist insurance for Chinese scooters and motorbikes. Call us on 0800 369 8580 or book a callback for a quote.

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August 8, 2023